Do health service staff support the implementation of voluntary assisted dying at their workplace?

Giuliana Fuscaldo, Stella May Gwini, Richard Larsen, Amarita Venkataramani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: On 29 November 2017, the Victorian Parliament passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Act 2017, which came into effect on 19 June 2019. Aims: To investigate whether staff from a large regional health service support the legalisation of VAD and the implementation of VAD at their workplace. Methods: Staff were invited to complete an anonymous online survey comprising both closed- and open-ended questions. Results: Thirty-eight percent of the workforce (n = 1624) responded to the survey. Most participants supported the legalisation of VAD (88%), the provision of eligibility assessment and/or the administration of VAD within the health service (80%). There were negligible differences in support for VAD by role; however, specialist doctors were significantly less supportive (65%). Approximately half of the respondents expressed concern about monitoring (49%) or implementation (53%) of VAD. Concerns were also raised about assessment of eligibility, support for staff involved in VAD and pressure on both patients and staff to participate. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of participants agreed that if the health service offers VAD services, a special unit or facility should be available. Conclusions: This study found that health workers have concerns about the implementation of VAD at their workplace but are generally supportive. This article provides information for health services considering the implementation of VAD, about staff concerns and issues that need to be addressed for the successful introduction of VAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1636-1644
Number of pages9
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Volume51
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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